Here at GitLab, we truly appreciate our amazing support team! They work tirelessly to provide our users the very best support and achieve the goals we set for them. Through tickets, calls, issues, MRs, etc., they work each and every day to not only support GitLab, but also improve it. As a Support Manager, I truly appreciate each and every thing they do here. I take a lot of pride in telling people what I do for a living, and it is in large part thanks to the amazing team I work with.
With everything they have done, the support managers brought up the topic of showing appreciation. We often thank them, but as of late, we felt we needed to do something more. But the big question was how?
When I first started working as a manager, it was in an office. Back then, showing appreciation was relatively easy. We saw one another almost every day after all! I could easily address my team, thank them wholeheartedly for their amazing work, and see they knew they were truly appreciated. If I wanted to think outside the box, I very well could. We were all working together in a physical place, so it wasn't too difficult to get inventive.
One of my all-time favorite ways of showing appreciation for my team was having a pizza party (yes I know, this isn't that inventive)! We would eat greasy pizza, see different topping choices, and overall, grow as a team. Once I started working fully remote, I had pretty much convinced myself the days of pizza parties were a thing of the past. That was, until the Support Managers floated the idea of doing one asynchronously. It was taking the idea of social calls and adding pizza to it!
I instantly fell in love with the idea, so I had no objections when we decided to go through with the concept. We encouraged the team to order pizza (any food really) on Friday and post the pictures. What came of this was, in my opinion, amazing. We got to see pizza and food from all over the globe. It started discussions of different ways to make pizza, different topping choices, and inspired many of us to one day travel outside of our respective regions, all in hopes of trying some delicious pizza! I personally had never thought of eating gas station pizza, but after seeing the pictures of it, I now long for the day I travel to Nebraska to try (what I am told) is the best gas station pizza you can find!
"Our global Support team has worked very hard and focused on reaching our lofty targets for our customer service objectives, and this virtual party is in recognition, and appreciation, of their collective efforts!" - Tom Cooney, Director of Support
The entire event reminded me of a very important piece of information I had read in the All Remote section of the GitLab Handbook:
"Remote is not a challenge to overcome."
I had seen the concept of showing appreciation to an all-remote team as a challenge I had to overcome. Simply put, it isn't. It wasn't the environment that needed a change, it was merely my way of thinking!
I truly feel honored that I get to work for such an amazing company and a fantastic team. I continue to look forward to working more and more with the amazing GitLab Support team!